So we have just under 100 days left before the election, most of which will be filled by two candidates telling us what they will do in the first 100 days after they are elected. Most of which won’t actually come to fruition.
The political process is unique and strange to be sure but maybe there are some things we can take back to our “real” businesses:
Partnerships and relationships matter – in the long term.
Whether a political insider or outsider, you have to have lots of relationships to raise funding and garner support at levels where the support can actually lead to results. Trump seems to be struggling in that much of his business career was based on a “scorched earth” sort of strategy, so he seems to have less long-term allies.
I recall during the great recession when my company was on the brink of bankruptcy, the countless times I heard that why we were getting cooperation and at least an open mind and ear from banks was the relationships we had built with them over many years. And not relationships like we bought them baseball tickets or took them to dinner, but relationships like we were always transparent with them, always lived up to our commitments, and helped them in times of need.
You have to manage and get rid of noise, by making it a priority.
Can Hillary Clinton ever go a week without us talking about her emails? Or emails by those around her? She hasn’t managed the message or the processes. You would think, for example, that after the whole personal email scandal, there would be constant messaging and resources dedicated to protecting and securing every electronic system even close to touching her, repeated reminders about the topic, everyone knowing this was the one area we aren’t going to mess around in. And yet…emails hacked, terrible content in those emails, etc.
Organization is everything in a complex process or project
The right people, the right number of people, clear vision, a well-defined strategic plan, a set of operating policies and procedures that can be easily implemented, communication practices that allow for ad-hoc adjustments, nimble reactions and empowered employees. These would be just a few things you need to run a complex organization or successfully execute a big project; like a Presidential campaign.
I don’t think letting a plagiarism claim go for two days counts as success. And from most accounts, any reasonably organized campaign would never have had this particular issue happen in the first place. Success in political campaigns, like much of business, comes at the margin – the little things as we say. Are each one of your employees motivated to be precise, be accountable, take their job as seriously as you do? And have you hired the right people and have you trained them enough to succeed?
So I guess if those of us who aren’t huge fans of the political process can at least learn a few lessons from the process, maybe we will make it through the next 100 days.